The pool is huge and, whilst we were, there not much used so plenty of space. It does need some maintenance work to bring it up to standard but the water is very clean.
The hotel in general could do with some TLC, I was told that the owners had considered selling the property but have changed their minds.
The staff were numerous, helpful and friendly, but with so many I can't understand why so many things remained left undone.Litter is allowed to accumulate in the beautiful grounds, in fact one area close to the gym is used as a rubbish dump. Unbelievable that they should abuse their prime asset, the stunning location. The gardens in front of our room were full of heaps of building rubble that had been there years.
Eating wise we found the breakfast OK, lacking only in decent bread or rolls, but not good enough to inspire us to eat in the evenings. Instead we ate at Stephens floating restaurant which was excellent and cheaper too !(pick up from the hotel waterfront.)
The hotel offers a boat to the beach service but the sea is unsuitable for swimming , the beach extremely littered and it's very exposed and hot.
I would recommend this hotel for a short stay only as it's a bit isolated.
Hot tip... excellent room fridge...stock it up at the government liquor shop because it will save you a fortune. It was only when I checked out that the comment of " nothing from the mini bar" was made. I said until I'd stocked it there wasn't anything in it, nor the offer made to fill it. Like so many places,alcohol isn't on the menu because they are not licensed.You have to ask.
Travel operator: Eco Ventures
We were greeted very warmly on arrival early morning with a cool drink and friendly staff who helped with bags and did not expect to be tipped. The manager and his wife were vigilant and helpful (almost too much and we would have been happy to be left alone some of the time). Staff varied as people do, but for the most part were very friendly and willing to help in any way possible.
Food in the restaurant is pretty repetitive so the floating restaurants are a really nice option for lunch or dinner. Stephens is long established and return guests will often try to turn you off from going to the Sea Queen which is the new restaurant with a boat also moored at the bottom of the beach. Both offer great, fresh and reasonably priced food.
The restaurant does very filling breakfasts, which I found perfect after my morning yoga session. I'd have liked more fruit options, but eggs made to order and toast brought to you with a range of local dishes too was more than enough for us to manage through to late afternoon.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The accommodation on offer varies from large standard rooms in 2 storey blocks to various more characterful bungalows and a tree house. We had no choice but to take a standard room as a large group of trainee Yoga teachers had taken all of the bungalows. Everywhere is very clean and well maintained by Indian standards. Air conditioning is gently effective and supplemented by wall fans.
The central facilities are limited to an attractive restaurant, large pool with spa jets at the shallow end, poolside bar, pool table and small gift shop but the Ayuverdic centre stands out. This is very well staffed and equipped offering a wide range of traditional health treatments as well as beauty treatments.
Staff throughout the Isola are friendly and courteous, service was relaxed rather than slow or inefficient, I suggest you go with the flow and relax to their pace rather than timing how long it takes to get a drink or a sandwich. Do not be surprised if they run out of beer, alcohol is not a priority to the locals, unlike us sad stressed westerners, and they will get some more just as soon as the boat gets here.
There are two adjoining hotels, which you would not be aware of unless you sought them out, the Estuary Island and Poovar Island. The Estuary is a large conventional hotel building on a much smaller plot than Isolla Di Cocco and the Poovar is a much larger development of varying building types with very well tended gardens. All three are quite different in character.
There are also two floating restaurants just off the river frontage of the Estuary Island and Poovar Island. We ate at Stephen's one night and had excellent fish, (Barracuda), again very friendly and well recommended. Stephen's keep a small boat waiting at the river wall of the Isola between 6.30 and 9.00 rather than just relying on torch waving.
Some of our fellow guests ventured into Kovalam and likened it to typical Spanish Costa commercialism. If you want this kind of tack then I suggest you stay in Kovalam rather than go to the Isola and complain there is 'nothing' there. Some of us are very glad that there is 'nothing' there.
We took two of Thomas Cook's own trips; one to Kanyakumari, (Land's End & Gandhi Memorial), Suchindrum Temple and Padmanabapuram Palace; the second to Ponmudi Tea Plantation and a spice plantation. All were well organised, limited to 8-9 people, well away from tourists and excellently lead by local guide Muyti. Each cost around
Travel operator: Manos
Travel operator: Independent
The location is just perfect if you want a peaceful & relaxing holiday and the view from the restaurant overlooking the Arabian Sea is superb.
We stayed in one of the Deluxe Rooms which was spacious, had a large balcony, bathroom and was spotlessly clean. Bed linen and towels were changed every day and were brilliant white and smelt fresh and clean.
The hotel staff were very friendly, polite and helpful and it was a nice touch to return to our room after dinner and find the sheets on our bed turned down, pillows arranged and flower petals scattered on the bed cover.
Restaurant had a good choice of food, breakfast (buffet), lunch (a la carte or snack menu)& dinner (buffet or a la carte).
No evening entertainment.
Travel operator: Manos
The staff are a joy - always smiling warm and helpful. As you lie by the full-size freshwater infinity pool, brahminy kites and fishing eagles swoop overhead to catch thermals. The heritage room we stayed in was in carved mahogany, with an open-air bathroom so you woke in the morning and stepped out into glorious sunshine, which was like an injection of energy.
Every day the staff would lay fresh flowers on our bed. The ayurvedic centre was an almost spiritual experience, and the yoga stage looks out over the water, focusing the mind. Everyone we met, all the people we met were wonderful and added to the enchantment of the place. We have already decided to go back as soon as we can - just magical.
The kothakali dancers - visits to hindu temples and the carved palaces - cape kumari - varkala and the spice plantations - the rice boat tour on the paddy-field backwaters - riding on elephants - all were simply breathtaking experiences and highly recommended.
Don't book the tours with First Choice though as these never delivered what they promised - walk to the gate and book independently with Ari or one of the locals there - much better value, and they deliver on their promises.
Travel operator: First Choice
The hotel is largely made up of Heritage cottages in 30 acres of grounds. Room was a good size, very clean with good facilities, big bathroom and good sized balcony which had a large round wooden table and chairs and recliner. Also the Air Con is very good and a good choice of movies/sport on the Satellite TV.
Price wise you will pay 120 rupees (
Travel operator: Manos
The hotel is in the middle of nowhere, and access to the local towns and villages is by taxi only. You can't simply pop out to the local towns and villages to stock up on water, food etc.
Other hotel resorts entertainment can be heard from this resort and during our stay, loud music was played throughout the night (including Christmas night).
Having stayed at other hotels in Kerela, including its state capital, Trivandrum, I would advise that this hotel is not cheap so be prepared to pay London prices for everything - food, drink, taxis etc. Food was medicore especially considering the price. After dinner, there was no where to relax for a drink. At around 10:30 to 11:00 pm, staff at the hotel were eager to move you on (moving tables, sweeping under your feet etc).
Although the entertainers did their best, evening entertainment was poor.
Watch out for hidden extras being added to your bill when checking out, especially in regard to the mini bar. Reception staff were on the uncooperative side and universally appear to work on the assumption that any change is to be offered up as a tip. I would add that generally speaking, service levels at this resort would not warrant tips.
Our stay at this hotel left a sour taste in our mouths, and very empty wallets. This resort can be summed up in two words, 'tourist trap'.
Travel operator: None
Ask a Question
Got a question? Ask our community of over 1.5 million users.